The Quran says, 'Man is cruel and man is foolish.' He
is cruel because he is harmful at each move he makes throughout
life, and he is foolish because he does not know his true
Whatever you wish to obtain, live only for that, think
only of that. If you wish to be rich, think only of riches,
be with rich people, be always playing with money: then
you will certainly be rich. But if, when you have ten pounds,
you think you want a diner party, and a theatre party and
a new dress, you cannot be rich. If you want fame and think
only of fame; work and praise and flatter, think only how
your name and fame may come out.
Man does not know what he really wants, what his true
benefit is. Sometimes he thinks that satisfying the senses
is his benefit; sometimes he thinks that material comforts
are his benefit; sometimes he thinks that fame or money
will satisfy him. His true benefit is to be independent
of all these momentary satisfactions, but great renunciation
is needed for this. He must renounce even what is necessary
for life, as food, sleep, praise and attention. Then he
sees, 'I can live without this, I can live without what
is needed for life.' Then comes the realization that he
is not a physical being but a higher being, and by this
realization he is liberated and exalted.
Resignation to the will of God is the highest stage.
A person must first work with the idea of benefit for the
self, before he can arrive at that stage. This means that
he must pass through selfishness in order to arrive at unselfishness.
You might say, 'The world is full of people working for
the self;' but those have not realized what is the real
benefit of the self. That which gives a momentary pleasure,
a pleasure that lasts a few days, is no benefit for the
self. To abuse another gives a pleasure for a moment; it
is not of real benefit to the self. Those actions are not
even selfish actions, they are foolish: the intelligence
has not understood what the self is.